Argentina v Iceland tips: Messi to make the difference?

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Moscow is the venue for Argentina’s first game of the World Cup and they will be hoping to be back in the Russian capital on 15th July for the final.

However, before they can draw designs of making a second successive World Cup final they must navigate themselves out of the group-stages. And get fired up for the opener against Iceland.

Argentina are 1/3 heavy favourites to pick up an early three points. Iceland are a 9/1 bet to begin their first ever World Cup with a win. The draw is at 15/4.

Lionel Messi is crucial to Argentina’s fate. They only picked a single victory during the eight games he missed in qualifying.

The 31-year-old had to drag his side to the finals in Russia. He bagged a hat-trick against Ecuador in the final CONMEBOL qualifier.

The heavy reliance on the Barcelona man is even more striking when Argentina boast the attacking talents of Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala among their ranks.

The most likely player to score for La Albiceleste that’s not Messi is both Higuain and Aguero at 3/1.

Whoever Jorge Sampaoli decides upon to partner Messi will be telling.

He went with Higuain in the friendly against Haiti but it was Aguero who notched when he replaced the Juventus forward.

Iceland will be looking to put the heat on their opponents here.

Their first appearance at a European Championships in 2016 endeared the team to many. They didn’t lose a game – including beating England, before going out to hosts France in the quarter finals.

The return of Gylfi Sigurdsson from injury has come just at the right time. You will expect him to start in the number ten role spearheading the five-man midfield.

The Everton man is a 9/2 shot to score his nations’ first World Cup goal. Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason to score any time is 16/5.

Iceland will most likely play a 4-5-1 formation to try and thwart Messi. But the Argentine talisman is 12/1 to grab a hat-trick.

Both teams to score in this one is 5/4.

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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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